Ellsberg paints too narrow a picture

As a student on campus who wants to learn and hear the opinions of others, I went to the Forum featuring Daniel Ellsberg last Tuesday night. I knew that Ellsberg would most likely tend to lean more to the left in his political views, but I was more than willing to hear what he would have to say even though I am a Republican. Many of my professors advocated the event and stressed how eye-opening it was likely to be.

Well, when I left the event, I felt that everyone’s eyes had been forcefully closed tighter than they ever had before.

Ellsberg’s world, as he conveyed it, seems to be limited to two colors: Democrat blue and Republican red with no shades in between. The Simpsonian itself quoted Ellsberg saying, “It’s time to start pointing fingers at Republicans and saying, ‘Have you no shame?'” For a man who says he wants us as a people to grow progressively better through political involvement, he sure has a funny way of encouraging it. I felt excluded from the audience, and maybe this was the point. Besides this, I also felt like some views were assigned to me that I don’t necessarily believe. Last time I checked, I wasn’t yelling at the top of my lungs in the middle of campus for the war to continue. I don’t want my brave friends to die for this cause and I don’t want to use God as a mascot for the causes I believe in.

On the flip side, Democrats should not have the burden of saving the world on their shoulders. Creating the peace we want can only start by all of us accepting the fact that, even if our views are different, we can still be a civilized nation that works together. People like Daniel Ellsberg seem to want to prevent this from happening.

All I know is that there are not just two opinions out there. On our campus alone we represent a great mix of viewpoints, even if we claim a political party. Don’t let anyone make you think that to believe one thing you must believe another. Make your opinions and accept those of others. In short, keep your eyes, and your mind, open.

Alison Jepsen